All of my life, the dominant position of Fletchers in the construction industry has been discussed. In some ways the firm has been the East India Company of NZ - practically indistinguishable from the government itself. Apparently Sir James Fletcher's wife used to work as a legal secretary for my grandfather - and he said it was the best thing she ever did quitting her job with him to go and work at Fletcher's, where she met Sir James.
Anyhow, the Commerce Commission has just come up with a report on the construction industry which recommends, according to Newshub:
- Introducing competition as an objective to be promoted in the building regulatory system
- Promoting compliance with the Commerce Act
Golly, gee whiz. "Introducing competition". Encouraging "compliance" with the law. Minister Clark responded by saying,"In the coming weeks and months, we will talk to stakeholders, with a Government response expected in March 2023". Don't stress yourself. Maybe just keep talking and meeting in the coming, weeks, months, years and decades. And have a good summer holiday, Mr Clark - and when you get back to the office maybe you can start working on that "government response". Why not aim for March 2024?
What a gutless wonder the Commerce Commission has become. The politicians who oversee it are certainly no Teddy Roosevelts - he introduced the anti Trust legislation in the US over a century ago. The Roosevelt administration sued successfully to break up such monopolies as Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Co. and J.P. Morgan’s Northern Securities Co., a railroad conglomerate that the U.S. Supreme Court dissolved.
Why doesn't our political establishment have the guts to break up Fletchers once and for all?